IU McKinney Students Give Back to Community During Holidays


While the end of the fall semester means final exams and the frenzy of activity that surrounds the holiday season, students at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law can be counted on to find ways to give back and help out their favorite non-profits. The law school’s courtyard entryway is often lined with donation boxes for toys for foster children, pantry staples for food banks, and items for groups that help homeless pets.

Students on the staff of the Indiana Law Review decided to get to work and volunteered at Second Helpings, an Indianapolis food rescue organization that feeds the hungry and trains people to work in kitchens.

On November 23, the Saturday before Thanksgiving, ILR staff volunteers took part in a food preparation session from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Their first task? Chop several 50-pound bags of onions, said ILR articles editor Rose Shingledecker. They also chopped peppers, sautéed mushrooms, trimmed beef, and operated the meat grinder. Chefs at Second Helpings used the items to prepare meals that would be delivered to the needy on the following Monday.

“Second Helpings really utilizes, and relies on, its volunteers to fulfill its mission, so we all felt we were doing work that was truly valuable to the organization,” Shingledecker said. “It was very hands-on. Even though my hands smelled faintly like onions for about two days after we volunteered, it was worth it.  It was fun!”

The Second Helpings volunteer effort was particularly poignant for the group, happening so close to the Thanksgiving holiday, she said.

“It was eye opening to hear about the depth of hunger issues in Indianapolis, especially around a time when many of us celebrate the holiday with more food than we could ever need,” Shingledecker said. “I am so grateful that Second Helpings is doing the work that it does, and that we had the opportunity to lend a hand to its mission.”

St. Thomas More Society President Vanessa WoolseyAs the rest of the holiday season approached, the Hispanic Law Society, Lambda Legal and St. Thomas More Society began raising money and accepting gift wrapping supplies. They adopted an Indianapolis family through the United Way’s Adopt-A-Family program, and purchased gifts of toys and children’s clothes, and a modest gift for the entire family.

The effort raised $610.48, and St. Thomas More Society president Vanessa Woosley (pictured at left) was pleased with the effort as she helped wrap gifts prior to delivering them to the family.

“I feel so blessed to be part of such a great community and to be among colleagues who genuinely care about giving back to the community in which we live,” Woosley said. “Thank you all for your incredible work in making this happen!”

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